It’s been a very interesting two weeks. Marvel broke street date on the 16th of February here in Melbourne, and the first thing I did that day after work was to go back home and spend four hours straight in training room.
I’ve started working in the city, so I get to play at Bluehouse arcade every day at lunch, which is awesome. And actually receiving a salary,is even more awesome. Actually having money is very nice indeed.
I can actually buy things; like an Xbox, finally.
But because I’m new to work, even when there’s ten minutes left on the clock, I don’t start counting the seconds. I sit there thinking, “Wow, people are actually paying me money for every minute I sit here,” and I get so motivated I work until the last second.
But I won’t lie. Last week on Wednesday, I was counting every millisecond until I could run to JB Hi-fi, grab my preordered copy, sprint home like a madman and play Marvel.
The game itself is so addictive. That first day, I couldn’t stop trying new characters. Furiously doing mission mode, watching videos from the SRK Hyper guide, and just trying to cram everything in. I just couldn’t put down my stick.
I tried Viewtiful Joe, Amaterasu, Deadpool, Iron Man, Arthur, Storm, She-Hulk, Doom, and so much more. The only character I didn’t try…was Ryu.
I was really set on using She-Hulk until I discovered I couldn’t do her Bnb; which is cA, cB, cC, S, M, M, H, S, run stance, torpedo, Super.
But on Friday at Spoony’s house, I learnt to jump forward while doing the air juggle, and do it slower so that you land closer to the opponent after air S, allowing you to ground bounce with running torpedo much, much easier.
Marvel is so fresh, I feel every hour of play is filled with discoveries like that.
But wait, does that mean I’m going to stop playing SSFIV?
Igor and I did Toxy’s interview on Saturday at Deakin. And Toxy expressed a bit of disappointment that it seemed that quite a few of the top players in Melbourne weren’t going to take Marvel seriously.
I don’t know about them, but I will.
I’ve heard so many top players say that playing other fighting games can only make you better.
SSFIV was my first fighting game, and I learnt it and improved at painfully slow rate. I’m keen to experience my second fighting game, free of my fighting game adolescence, free of growing pains and executional awkwardness.
I want to see whether Marvel can expand my ability as a fighting game player. Maybe the faster speed will leave me feeling calmer when inside SSFIV’s game engine.
Maybe rushing down with Wolverine will give me that added unpredictability to add to my otherwise boring and stolid Ryu.
Maybe blocking Toxy’s Sentinal assist-Wesker teleport mixups will teach me how to block.
I feel pretty excited at the possibilities.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop playing AE. Like I said, I’ll play at Bluehouse every lunch from now on. So far I get in about 20-30 minutes every day.
I don’t have much time to practice my execution in training room now that I’m working, but I think that doesn’t matter that much. Not to boast or anything, but I think I know most of Ryu’s technical stuff at this point. My weakness is my fundamentals; my zoning, footsies and anti-air. So if I try to just work on that every day in the arcade, hopefully I’ll improve.
Not that I have been seeing much results lately. I went 0-2 at the last Box Hill ranbat, and 0-2 at the recent Galactic Circus tournament. Much props to Chris and his staff for pushing for all the changes needed to make the GC tournament a reality. There were a lot of people there, and I think the fighting game season is really kicking off again in Melbourne. Meanwhile, Andrew got 9th place and just keeps improving.
And just when my confidence was in a pretty deep chasm, I played pretty well against Combomaniac’s Fei this afternoon. Not to say that I beat him, (I didn’t), but I feel I actually played solid for the first time in a long time.
I think Combomaniac’s style suits me a lot. He stays grounded, doesn’t jump at all, and tries to fight me on the ground. That’s my comfort zone, and that’s what I like to do. While it’s very hard to fight Fei on the ground with Ryu, I just feel more at home.
I also find that I only gain confidence when I beat good players. When I play players that are clearly new to the game or don’t really know how to play, I lose my concentration so fast! I get bored and start not zoning properly and missing anti-airs galore.
When I play my friends who don’t play Street Fighter at all, I get distracted very quickly and I even drop games here and there.
I wonder how people like Toxy, Just-S and Sol, people who are way above my level and crush me easily and effortlessly can play me game after game after game and not lose their concentration. I’d be bored playing me if I was Just-S. Maybe it’s something that I have to work on.
But I don’t get better or gain any confidence by beating scrubs at all. Even if I get a long win streak against bad players, no matter how long the streak is, I still feel very starkly that I could lose the next game. But if I beat a good player, I suddenly feel a lot more hopeful for the next match. Maybe I’m weird. But I wonder what it’s like for other people.
At Deakin this Saturday we had a lot of people there, some playing Marvel and some playing SF. It’s just nice to see that people are still willing to come to console events.
And I finally got to try my Wolverine team against Carnage, probably the pre-eminent Wolverine in Melbourne at this point.
The funny thing is that I didn’t even want to play Wolverine. I was definitely going for Amaterasu from the get-go, and She-Hulk was another very strong consideration. But since I couldn’t do her BnB at that point, I just went for what I thought was a relatively easy execution character: Wolverine.
And I also definitely don’t want to play zoning characters in Marvel after playing Ryu for so long.
Wolverine felt easy to use and powerful off the bat. “Bad” BnBs of flat 500k damage, crossup mixups, and good life.
I immediately felt at home using him, and my team of Wolverine, Amaterasu, Sentinel/Arthur has been doing pretty well against other players who are new to Marvel like I am.
And I also don’t want to use Sentinel, but so far I haven’t found another assist that covers Wolverine’s rushdown as good as Sentinel. A lot of times I get free combos off crossup Berserker Slashes because that damn drone assist stays out so long. When I find a good replacement, I’m dropping Sentinel right away. I don’t even know how to play him; I just use him for his assist.
And of course Justin Wong starts using Wolverine and wins a tournament with him, and I hear “top tier” rumours about him. Huh. I think Wesker owns him. And I miss having an air dash.
But anyway I got totally torn to shreds by Carnage’s far more proficient Wolverine. The only time I could hit him was when Amaterasu was in. I guess because Ammie is so short, I could get away with a lot of stuff.
But it just seemed that Carnage would hit me way more than I would hit him. We were basically doing the same Sent assist/Wolverine stuff, just that he was way better at it. But it’s cool, I was able to watch and learn a few things.
Now Toxy also tore me a new one. I couldn’t touch him At All. His Wesker team…just 3-0ed me relentlessly time and time again. I think this is really Toxy’s domain,;the versus series.
But the game is still young, and there’s so much to learn. Just learning to do basic things like air dashing with Amaterasu over projectiles and dropping straight down into a combo feels so enjoyable. I’ve said this before, but one of my favourite things to do in Street Fighter and in all things in general, is to learn new things.
And Marvel is just a cornucopia of juicy delights.